Hannah Macdonald’s interview with Ulster Business
Published on: 8 May 2018
Hannah’s article was first published in May 2018 in Ulster Business.
- How does executive search differ from traditional recruitment?
A key difference between what we do here in 4c in comparison to more tradition recruitment methods is that our clients retain us to fill their critical roles, and in doing so we go fresh to market to find the absolute best fit for that role. Searching the marketplace, rather than a database on relying on ad response, ensures we are presenting stellar candidates for each role – that’s why 73% of our placed candidates come from search over advertising or who we already know. Another vital difference is how much time we invest throughout each assignment – we take a consultative approach, making sure we understand our clients’ culture, structure, needs and products fully before embarking upon filling the role.
- Is it more challenging to find the candidates and to fill the roles?
It really depends on the nature of the assignment, the difficulty of finding relevant candidates can vary on a role-by-role basis. We work across all sectors in Northern Ireland and as such may find certain sectors are experiencing skills shortages, so the pool of candidates becomes smaller. Also, we are not restricted by geography and so have carried out searches across the world, making sure no stone is left unturned.
- Is the demand for the sector increasing in Northern Ireland?
I’m so proud to say that our statistics can speak volumes in answering this question, in that we are approaching our 250th role since our inception four and a half years ago. As we become more established in the marketplace, we are noticing not only repeat business from loyal clients, but also an increase in new business coming through the doors – and we are so grateful that our clients trust us with these roles that ultimately drive their own business in to the future. We also are encouraged by the fact that our 4c Boardroom, 4c Public Sector and 4c Third Sector divisions have grown significantly since their launch in October 2016 and we feel confident that these will continue to grow.
- What has contributed to the success of 4c since its inception in 2013?
One of the main reasons for our success has to be the 4c team, led to success by Gary Irvine. The combined expertise, attitude and level of comradery is something we could easily take for granted, but every single person is 4c is so proud to be part of the team, and proud of what we do.
Another key factor is our model – we follow a methodical process that differentiates us in the market, which is also the reason why our success rate is 44% above the industry norm.
Finally, I really believe a lot of our success is down to our clients. Without our clients we wouldn’t be here, and their trust, repeat business and demand for our service is something we place the utmost importance on.
- What is it you enjoy most about your role at 4c?
I really love the variety of my job – each day is so different, I like to be kept on my toes! I feel so privileged that I get to learn more about Northern Ireland businesses, and meet some of the top business men and women that are leading them. I also get to work with an incredible team, interact with such experienced candidates and see the talent that exists here.